Sunday, January 3, 2010

Home Sales Up

St. Charles existing home sales increase 16.3 percent in October; first time homebuyers make a huge difference

Consumers are responding to federal government stimulus programs and have an eye out for foreclosed properties for investment

First-time homebuyers have been out there in force, accounting for 47 percent of the homes purchased between July 2008 and June 2009. That group represents the largest share of first-time buyers in more than 18 years. These buyers have also helped the St. Louis region real estate market score an increase of 27 percent for October 2009 in comparison to October 2008, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. St. Charles County sales increased 16.3 percent with the median home price of $168,000.

Our local market pretty much mirrors the national scene–pending home sales are up again for the eighth consecutive month, the longest streak since 2001. The National Association of Realtors keeps track of such things; the gain was 6.1 percent to 110.1 percent.

All of this activity shows that federal stimulus packages such as the $8,000 tax credit for first time buyers are working. The plan was scheduled to end on November 30 and that pumped up the October sales.

Now that the tax credit program has been extended through June 2010 and has been expanded to include repeat homes buyers with a $6,500 credit, we’ll have even more time to stabilize a recovering market.

The time to start looking for your next home is now–it could be just around the corner or in the next town over. Spend your winter months planning and investigating the housing market in your target area. Some investors and single-family purchasers are looking into buying foreclosed properties as a way to plan for the future and see their investments increase over the next decade.

A recent homeownership survey released this month shows that the number of consumers interested in investigating in real estate has doubled since March 2009. And, affordability and foreclosures are the top reasons why buyers are making home purchases.

Potential foreclosure buyers expect to pay 20 percent or less than market price for a foreclosure and 57 percent of these buyers will live in the property. Foreclosures are a very unfortunate consequence of the economy meltdown we experienced, but buyers can give new life to foreclosed homes and help enhance the neighborhood living experience.

No comments: